9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 21st, 2020

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“Tech For Tribals” program

News:TRIFED launched “Tech For Tribals” program in partnership with Institutes of National Importance (INIs)

Facts:

Tech For Tribals Programme:

Aim: Capacity building and imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri VanDhan Yojana(PMVDY)

Features:

  • Partners will develop course contents relevant to Entrepreneurship in Value Addition and Processing of Forest Produces.
  • The course curriculum will include Achievement Motivation and positive psychology, Entrepreneurial Competencies, Identification of locally available NTFP based Business Opportunities, Round the Year capacity utilization, Product positioning  etc.
  • Trainees will undergo a 30 days training program over six weeks comprising 120 sessions.

Additional Information:

About Prime Minister Van Dhan Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is a Market Linked Tribal Entrepreneurship Development Program. It was launched in 2018. It is a scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • Aim: It aims to help tribals in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide sustainable Minor Forest Produce (MFP)-based livelihood. It seeks to help increase tribal income through value addition of MFP centric products
  • Implementation of the Scheme: The scheme is implemented through the Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level. TRIFED acts as the Nodal Agency at the National Level.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED)

  • It was established in 1987. It functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal affairs.
  • The basic objective of the TRIFED is to provide good price to the products made or collected from the forest by the tribal people

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Defence ministry out with new draft procurement policy

News: Ministry of Defence released draft Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2020

Facts:

Draft Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2020

Aim: To increase indigenous manufacturing and expedite procurement of defence equipment.

Key Features:

  • Indigenous Content ratio hiked: It proposes  increasing the Indigenous Content (IC) stipulated in various categories of procurement by about 10% to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • New Category Buy (Global – Manufacture in India) has been introduced with a minimum 50% indigenous content on cost basis of total contract value.
  • Leasing introduced as a new category: Leasing has been introduced as a new category for acquisition in addition to existing ‘Buy’ & ‘Make’ categories to substitute huge initial capital outlays with periodical rental payments. Leasing is permitted under two categories i.e, Lease (Indian) where Lessor is an Indian entity and is the owner of the assets and Lease (Global) where Lessor is a Global entity.

Additional Information:

About Defence Procurement Procedure, 2016:

  • The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2016) had replaced the DPP-2013 based on the recommendations of the Dhirendra Singh Committee.
  • The procedure aims to develop a world-class domestic defence and aerospace industry by promoting indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment, platforms, systems and subsystems.

Finance Commission constitutes Committee to Review Fiscal Consolidation Roadmap of the General Government

News: Chairman of the  Fifteenth Finance Commission, has constituted a Committee to review the  fiscal consolidation roadmap of the general government.

Facts:

Terms of Reference:

  • make recommendations on the definition of deficit and debt for the Central government, overall states, the General Government and public sector enterprises 
  • lay down the principles for arriving at the debt of the general government debt and consolidated public sector with appropriate netting to avoid double-counting.
  • define contingent liabilities, provide quantifiable measures of such liabilities, wherever possible, and specify conditions under which “contingent” liabilities become “explicit” liabilities of the public sector.
  • review the current status of deficit and debt at different levels.
  • recommend a debt and fiscal consolidation roadmap for FY21-FY25 for the Central Government, overall States and General Government and attempt building up scenarios for public sector enterprises.

Protecting peatlands can help attain climate goals

News: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released a report  titled “Peatland mapping and monitoring”. 

Facts:

Key takeaways from the report

  • Peatlands cover only 3%  of Earth’s surface. However, their degradation due to drainage, fire, agricultural use and forestry can trigger release of the stored carbon in a few decades.
  • Peatlands contain 30 per cent of the world’s soil carbon. When drained, these emit greenhouse gases, contributing up to one gigaton of emissions per year through oxidation.

Additional Information:

 

  • Peatlands:

 

      •  It is a terrestrial wetland ecosystem in which the production of organic matter exceeds its decomposition and a net accumulation of peat results.
      • The total area globally is around 4 million km2 making them 70% of natural freshwater wetland or 3% of the Earth’s land surface.

 

  • Brazzaville Declaration:

 

    • Signed: 2018
    • Aim: To implement coordination and cooperation between different government sectors to protect the benefits provided by peatland ecosystems.

World Happiness Report 2020

News:The United Nations has released the World Happiness Report 2020.

Facts:

About the report:

  • The World Happiness Report is an annual report originally launched in 2012.
  • It is released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20, the UN’s annual International Day of Happiness.
  • The report ranks 156 countries on the state of global happiness using the Gallup World Poll and six factors namely levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption income.
  • The theme for this year’s report is Environment for Happiness.

Key takeaways from the report:

 

  • Finland has been ranked first followed by Denmark and Switzerland.

 

  • India has been ranked at 144th position.In 2019,it was at 140th.
  • Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Afghanistan were among those classified as the least happy countries.

Huntington Disease

News:Recently,the National Centre for Cell Science has found that the pathogenic protein called Huntingtin Protein causes a decrease in overall protein production.

Facts:

About Huntington disease:

  • Huntington’s disease is an inherited genetic disease that causes the progressive breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain. 
  • It is caused by a mutation in a gene called HTT which is involved in the production of a protein called huntingtin.

Symptoms:

  • The symptoms of Huntington’s disease usually develop between ages 30 and 50 but they can appear at an early as well as late age.
  • The disease has a broad impact on a person’s functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking (cognitive) and psychiatric disorders.

Treatment:

  • There is currently no cure for Huntington’s disease and no way to slow or stop the brain changes it causes.Treatments focus on managing symptoms.

Country-by-Country Reports

News:Recently,the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) has notified rules for furnishing Country-by-Country Report(CbC) specifying information pertaining to all large multinational enterprises(MNEs).

Facts:

About Country-by-Country Report:

  • The BEPS Action 13 report provides the multinational enterprises(MNEs) to report annually and for each tax jurisdiction in which they do business the information set out therein.This report is called the Country by Country(CbC) Report.
  • India has signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) for exchange of CbC reports.

What does the report contain?

  • The report aggregates country-by-country information relating to the global allocation of income,taxes paid and certain other indicators of an MNC.
  • It also contains a list of all the group companies operating in a particular jurisdiction and the nature of the main business activity of each such constituent entity.

Additional information:

About MCAA:

  • The Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement(MCAA) is a multilateral framework agreement under OECD / G20 BEPS Project.
  • It provides a mechanism to facilitate the automatic exchange of information in accordance with the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information in Tax Matters.

About Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS):

  • BEPS is a term used to describe tax planning strategies that exploit mismatches and gaps that exist between the tax rules of different jurisdictions.
  • It is an OECD initiative approved by the G20 to identify ways of providing more standardised tax rules globally.

Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium(SFAC)

News:Recently,the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium(SFAC) has signed an MoU with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA) to bring in better synergy in the agricultural activities.

Facts:

About SFAC:

  • Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium(SFAC) is an Autonomous Society promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture,Government of India.It was registered under Societies Registration Act,1860 in 1994.
  • It is governed by the Board of Management which is chaired by a) Union Minister for Agriculture- President and b) Secretary, Department of Agriculture- Vice-President.

Functions of SFAC:

  • Promotion of development of small agribusiness through Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) Scheme
  • Helping formation and growth of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) / Farmer Producer Companies(FPCs)
  • Improving availability of working capital and development of business activities of FPOs/FPCs through Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme
  • Implementation of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Electronic Trading platform.

Additional information:

About APEDA:

  • APEDA was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in 1985.
  • It comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries,Government of India.

Navroz Festival

News:The Prime Minister has greeted the nation on the occasion of Navroz Festival which falls on March 21.

Facts:

About Navroz:

  • Navroz is a Persian New Year festival celebrated by Parsis, followers of Zoroastrianism and various other communities.
  • In India,the Navroz festival is celebrated twice a year.The first according to the Iranian calendar and the second according to the Shahen Shahi calendar which is followed by people in India and Pakistan.
  • The festival is celebrated for health, wealth, prosperity and productivity. The central feature of the festival is to visit the Fire Temple and offer prayers to the deities.
  • It is inscribed in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of India

Swavalamban Express 

News:Small Industries Development Bank of India(SIDBI) has announced the start of Swavalamban Express.

Facts:

About Swavalamban Express:

  • Swavalamban Express Is a train journey to promote budding business aspirants and entrepreneurs.
  • It is modelled as a unique Self-Employment model where people come with their ideas of business and walk out as Swavalambis, empowered to start their own enterprises.

Additional information:

About SIDBI:

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) was set up in 1990 under an Act of Indian Parliament.
  • It acts as the Principal Financial Institution for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector as well as for coordination of functions of institutions engaged in similar activities.

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